he Clientele is a psychedelic outfit from England. They make psychedelic music, which typically consists of happy chords, vocals treated with reverb, and forgettable mid-tempo rock. The Clientele have been labeled collage artists by some, because they occasionally use samples as well.
Lost Weekend consists of five songs, two of which are dreamy instrumentals (dreamy meaning generally woozy and forgettable). Some will undoubtedly like this music; it recalls, at times, generic sixties radio hits. The Clientele’s earlier releases did similar things with much better results. Lost Weekend seems like the Clientele are trying to mature, but are reading the term "mature" as "less energy".
Opener "North School Drive" is decent enough; light piano, a sliding bassline and brushed drums complement some perfectly inoffensive singing. The harmonies are decent, performed in a way you would expect from a psychedelic group. The song is nearly over before we get our first glimpse of a melody, a nice ‘da dah dah dah’ thing. It is a short song, one that does not really go anywhere, but it is a good nonchalant beginning to a decent release.
"Boring Postcard" is probably the type of song they get their collage artist reputation from. There’s street noises, distant voices and other assorted sounds. It is little more than a segue to the third track, "Emptily Through Holloway", a slower song. The guitar tremolos, the bass rolls up and down and the vocals float about. The refrain is a little catchy, but it is really nothing special. The song doesn’t really care if you listen to it or not, it's just there.
"Kelvin Parade" is the standout, which isn’t saying much. The band seems a little more excited to be with us on this one. The guitar is quite a bit more bouncy than it has been, the drums plunk along happily, as opposed to the earlier lazy drums. There’s semi-interesting time signature changes and the vocals pushed right up into the front. The whole song seems to say "pay attention to me". One problem, nothing in the song is memorable. You have the common chord progression that anchors it down, but after that, the chorus is boring, the musical arrangement is nothing special, and the reverb is overwhelming.
The disc closes with an entirely forgettable piano instrumental. In this case, "instrumental" means six minutes of fumbling around with the keys. The Clientele can do a lot better. The EP seems like an album minus the interesting tracks: you have the unimportant segue, the wandering instrumental, the throwaways, but where are the hits?
Reviewed by: Tyler Martin
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01